When Sand Springs was holding on for a thrilling, 21-17 win over rival Sapulpa in its season opener last month, senior safety Brycen Peterman wasn’t on the field. He wasn’t on the sidelines, either. He was in the stands as a spectator.
Peterman gave up football after his sophomore season, but watching his classmates on the field and seeing the atmosphere on the sideline under first-year head coach Bobby Klinck, he realized he wanted to be a part of Sandite football.
“Sitting in the stands, watching them doing their thing and me just sitting there not being able to do my thing, was aggravating,” admitted Peterman.
After the game, Peterman didn’t hesitate to get in touch with Klinck and inquire about joining the team.
“I think it was that next morning,” said Peterman. “I had his number, so I texted him and he said to come talk him and I went and talked to him. I joined the team that Sunday.”
“He’s a very talented baseball player and just decided not to play football his junior year,” stated Klinck, who came to Sand Springs after a successful stint as an assistant at Owasso. “I had actually had contact with our baseball coach and he said Brycen used to play football.”
“He asked me to come out and I was just deny, deny, deny and then COVID happened and I didn’t really get a chance to come out,” claimed Peterman. “Then I saw him coach and it was phenomenal.”
“I guess he was watching what it was like on the sidelines during the Sapulpa game and he called me Saturday morning and said he wanted to be a part of that,” recalled Klinck.
The Sandites are off to an impressive 4-1 start this season under Klinck. Their only setback was a tough, 28-24 loss to current #1 Bishop Kelley. In last week’s 45-14 win over Muskogee, Peterman led an inspired defensive effort by recovering three fumbles.
“I was kind of at the right place at the right time,” admitted Peterman. “I just played the football. Wherever it goes, I go.”
“He’s done a good job,” claimed Klinck. “The biggest thing for me was reading the newspaper and he said football is fun. That’s the biggest thing that we want. We want them to have an unbelievable experience at Sand Springs.”
Klinck wasted no time in trying to change the atmosphere at Sand Springs. He brought three assistants with him from Owasso, including offensive coordinator Stephen Hogan and defensive coordinator Steve Craver. While at Owasso, the Rams won two 6A state titles in the last three years.
He also helped updated the facilities, including a new player tunnel entrance and updated locker and meeting rooms.
“The locker room is outstanding,” gushed Peterman. “All of the new additions to it are very cool. It creates a better atmosphere for the games.”
“We’re basically running the same type of program and some of the same ideas as we did in Owasso with Coach (Bill) Blankenship,” added Klinck. “The main thing is getting these guys to have fun playing football and create an atmosphere where kids want to work hard. They want to be pushed.”
When asked why Sand Springs is off to a good start this season, Peterman didn’t hesitate to answer.
“Personally, I’d say Coach Klinck,” said Peterman. “He’s brought a lot to the team and to the school. He’s just better than any coach I’ve ever seen coach football.”
Klinck, on the other hand, is quick to give credit to his players.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to our kids,” remarked Klinck. “We coach them pretty tough around here, but I think the biggest thing you’ve got to tell these kids is we’re being hard on them for a reason. When Friday comes and things don’t go your way, you’re prepared. We’ve come out on top of some tough games and I think as the season progresses, we’ll keep improving. It’s been an outstanding five or six weeks of the season so far.”
Sand Springs faces another tough test this week when the Sandites square off against the Booker T. Washington Hornets this Friday night, October 9th. YurView will televise this Ford Game of the Week (Cox Channel 3 in Tulsa and Channel 93 in Oklahoma City) at 7 pm CT or watch the game online.